July 15, 1 p.m. – The Alaska Division of Forestry and BLM Alaska Fire Service are in the process of gathering information on the large number of wildfires around the state that have been started by lightning strikes the past two days.
There have been more than 80 new fires started in the past two days, the vast majority of which were the result of more than 25,000 lightning strikes that have been recorded across the central and northern Interior and Southwest Alaska. In addition, the hot, dry weather the last few days has caused some fires that were already burning to become more active.
Both suppression agencies are prioritizing which fires will receive initial attack resources based on the threats the fires pose to life, safety and values at risk. The weather forecast is calling for another hot day across much of the state, with high temperatures in the 80s across much of the Interior and Southwest. More lightning and more new fires are expected today, in addition to other new fires that may have ignited in the past two days and have not been detected yet.
Both agencies will be provided updated information to the public as it becomes available throughout the day and the weekend.
At this point, no structures have been reported lost due to any wildfires and there have been no serious injuries reported
For the season to date, there have been 449 fires recorded in Alaska and they have burned 196,914 acres. Of the total number of fires, 272 have been human caused and 177 have been lightning caused.